Erbil’s Shaqlawa has been home to Christians for 18 centuries

12/25/2022 1:13:24 PM
 Group of Christians exiting Shuhada Church in Shaqlawa, Kurdistan region on December 25, 2022.
 photo: KurdSat English
Over 500 Christian families live in Shaqlawa.

Shaqlawa district in Erbil is considered one of the oldest Christian-inhabited places in the Kurdistan region. The cities have old and new churches for Christians. 

The Betirma neighborhood is a predominantly Christian Street in the city, as they have lived there for over 18 centuries. Shaqlawa Muslims and Christians enjoy friendly relations and would participate in each other’s festivities and funerals. Every year the Christians in Shaqlawa celebrate Christmas with many activities. 

The Betirma Neighborhood in Shaqlawa were most Christians live

"We are from Shaqlawa and were born here, and there is no difference between us and our Muslim brothers and sisters, we attend each other’s funerals and celebrations, and we are all like siblings," a Christian woman in Shaqlawa told KurdSat English.

There are no differences between us, we are all siblings, and we, as Kurds of Shaqlawa, have no problem at all, but the public services in the city do not meet our needs, a Shaqlawa Muslim said. 

Following the ISIS onslaught on parts of Iraq, many Iraqi Christians left the country for Europe or elsewhere, but most of those who live in the Kurdistan region chose to stay in their native homes as it offers them security and prosperity, commentators say. 


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